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Miles Davis’ first classic quintet was formed in 1955 and is widely regarded as one of the greatest combos in jazz history. Cookin’ was the first in a series of four albums featuring the group recorded between May and October of 1956. The program presents some tunes the quintet had been playing live, along with others that appear to have been improvised on the spot and which had never been previously recorded. Sonny Rollins’ “Airegin” had been recorded by Miles with Milt Jackson and Rollins on June 29, 1954, for the album Bags’ Groove. Credited to Miles and Red Garland, “Blues by Five” is most likely a blues createdon the spot. Cookin’ contains the earliest existing version of Miles performing “My Funny Valentine”, asong popularized in jazz by Chet Baker, and which Miles would maintain in his repertoire until at least 1966. Two tunes from the first Prestige LP by the quintet have been added as a bonus.
Hackensack, New Jersey, October 26, 1956.